Ariat&reg; Volant Vented Tall Boot
Expect some pain!
I am really disappointed with these boots. I work for a trainer and am at the barn on my feet pretty much all day - every day. I thought these boots would be comfortable to walk and ride in as every day boots and I liked how they looked.
Well these boots gave me a ton of blisters and bruises on my ankles and worse behind my knee, not only while breaking in, but still to this day a year and a half later. I have gone to a couple local tack stores and talked to employees about these boots and they all tell me they hear lots of complaints about how bad these boots give blisters. I have even compared blisters with other people who ride in these boots more than once. Of course blisters are a given when breaking in, but a year in a half later I would expect these to be broken in by now?
The footbed runs a little narrow too; much more narrow than my other Ariat tall boots (Heritage and Quantum) I have had. They gave me calluses on the side of my feet and I really believe they even were the culprit to my right foot fracturing. Shortly after feeling like I broke them in (besides still blistering) I was walking around my barn when my right foot felt super tight and then I felt a pop with super intense pain following. After feeling like I wanted to cry for several minutes and hobbling around I took off my foot to find a faint bruise that continued to darken (pictured). I went to the doctor and x-rays shows I fractured my 3rd metatarsal bone, telling me to wear a foot brace and stay off it for 6 weeks - like that is possible when you work at a barn. I bought some Ariat paddock boots, which I should have bought from the start, after the fracture and wore those around trying to take it easy on my feet. Several weeks later my foot did heal but still after a long day of walking I will feel a slight pain where the fracture was as a reminder. I mostly wear paddock boots at the barn now days but every now and then I will wear these boots because I paid so much for them and feel like I should use them. I have been meaning to buy Equifit Gel Bands to try and reduce the blistering but for now these boots remain pretty much useless because I can't show in them for hunters and my paddock boots are 100 times more comfortable.
The left boot also split at the seams in the section right behind your toe. It was $30 to get it repaired from my local tack store. The person who repaired it commented that they were surprised at how well they held up for being as old as they were. Not a good thing to hear.
The plus: You will get tons of compliments on these boots or will spark conversation about them but the coolness factor is not worth the pain. I would never repurchase them!
March 24, 2013
Well, I haven't had them very long but so far I love these boots! They are so comfortable! I've been looking for forever (it feels like) for a tall boot that is comfortable enough to walk in as well as ride in and these seem to fit the bill. I do have to use boot lifts but that is pretty much par for the course for me, otherwise the fit seems pretty true to size to maybe just a little large.
February 28, 2013
This boots look great and are the most comfortable boots ever!
February 4, 2013
Great sturdy boots!
We ride 10-12 horses a day and these boots are not only comfterable but hold up great!
January 22, 2013
Cannot Find Fit
Beautiful boot! Would have loved to keep if I could find a pair that would FIT me. Finally after 4 returns, I said, "I Give Up". The 8-1/2 was larger than the 9, and the 9.5 was way too big. For that amount of $$$, you want it to fit. I may try to reorder later, but got really frustrated with the fitting issue.
December 26, 2012
Good while it lasts
I purchased a pair last fall when my old ariats finally kicked the bucket. The volants we comfortable and seemed like the perfect boot for me. The design was cool looking while still being conservative enough to take in the dressage ring at events.
Five months ago I left for Argentina for a working student position, riding 4 to 6 horses a day, six days a week. The leather has held up great but within 2 months the stitching on the foot started to come undone. Completely disappointed! A fellow rider down there had the same problem as well. These boots are advertised as durable and for riding a lot but I can not recommend them if the stitching is just going to rip out. Very disappointed in ariat, especially after my last pair of boots which lasted 5 or 6 years of abuse and still cleaned up great.
November 17, 2012